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IRAN: More Than 20 Political Prisoners in Grave Danger in Gohardasht Prison After More Than 30 Days of Hunger Strike

By NCRI Staff

NCRI – Over the past few weeks, political prisoners in Iran’s Gohardasht Prison have been protesting against the intensified suppressive measures in the facility. The inmates’ hunger strike has garnered wide support by political prisoners throughout the country.

In recent months some of the prisoners had smuggled out letters describing the inhuman conditions at different prisons. Some called for justice for the families of political prisoners executed by the Iranian regime, including the 30,000 victims of the 1988 massacre. The regime has responded with further crackdowns.

In late July, political prisoners in Ward 4, Hall 12 of Gohardasht Prions were transferred to unbearable conditions in Hall 10, which is completely isolated and constantly monitored by 40 closed circuit cameras and 64 listening devices. All windows are sealed with metal plates, preventing any ventilation, and the hall lacks clean running water,
Prisoners had previously stated that if the transfer went ahead they would go on hunger strike, but on Sunday, July 30, more than 50 individuals were forcibly transferred. They were not allowed to take personal belongings, including medicine.
There are currently about 25 prisoners on hunger strike demanding their return to Hall 12 and the return of all personal belongings.

After four weeks, the physical condition of many participants has become seriously dangerous. They can barely walk and are suffering from heart, lung, and kidney ailments while being deprived of all medicine.
Abbas Jafari- Dolatabadi, the Prosecutor General of Tehran, who is currently on the EU sanctions list for gross and pervasive violations of human rights, said on August 23, “We say to some prisoners who go on hunger strike and make other threats that these actions have failed, and the judiciary will not surrender.”

His remarks highlight the regime’s lack of respect for the minimum rights of prisoners, while also hinting at further threats. Nonetheless, other prisoners have declared their solidarity or joined the hunger strike.

The National Council of Resistance of Iran has expressed grave concern over the health and security of political prisoners on hunger strike. It has been calling on all international human rights organizations, especially the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights, the Special Rapporteur of Human Rights in Iran, and the Special Rapporteur on Torture to take urgent action to save their lives.

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Supporters of the resistance have shown support with worldwide rallies and their own symbolic hunger strikes.

On August 23, Amnesty International issued a statement regarding “Mass hunger strike by political prisoners in protest at inhumane conditions. Amnesty International’ s Deputy Middle East and North Africa Director said: “By detaining dozens of prisoners of conscience after grossly unfair trials the Iranian authorities are already shamelessly flouting their human rights obligations. These are people who shouldn’t even be behind bars in the first place, yet instead of being released from custody they are being punished further by being held in appalling conditions.”

Governments and international organizations should intervene in defense of the political prisoners and their legitimate demands before it is too late.

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